Snoring is a common occurrence, and mild snoring tends to be harmless – unless you’re losing sleep because you’re being treated to a symphony of someone else’s nighttime noises! Still, snoring, especially loud and persistent snoring over months or years, can be a symptom of more serious medical issues.
Common Causes of Snoring
Light snoring is usually innocuous, according to a sleep and snoring article on WebMD. Common causes include:
• Obstructed nasal airways, as in cases of allergies or the common cold. If you only snore during allergy season or when you know you have an infection, your snores are no cause for alarm.
• Long soft palette or uvula. If your uvula (the dangly tissue at the back of your throat) or soft palette is naturally a little long, it can narrow the opening at the back of the throat, creating the perfect conditions for that wall-shaking snore.
• Poor muscle tone in the throat, potentially combined with thick throat tissues. If you’re overweight or out of shape, you’re more likely to have throat tissues with extra bulk, as well as poor muscle tone. This combination can lead to occasional harmless snores or to more dangerous sleep apnea, for which you may need medical treatment.
If your snoring wakes you, or if you wake feeling as if you can’t breathe, you may have sleep apnea severe enough to need medical intervention. If your snoring is affecting those you live with or keeping you from sleeping deeply, the resulting daytime sleepiness can be dangerous. Take care of yourself and your family – ask a doctor or sleep specialist to help you.
Do you snore? Do you know what causes it?